With noisemakers in hand, cheers and rounds of applause, the School Day Café administration team recognized nutrition workers across the Santa Clarita Valley with a celebratory drive-thru event for School Lunch Heroes Day on Friday.
School Day Café, formerly known as the Santa Clarita Valley Food Services Agency, held a drive-thru celebration to recognize nutrition workers for the hard work and commitment to provide meals for students across all five SCV school districts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We wanted to celebrate our employees and thank them for all of their hard work that they’ve done throughout the school year,” said Brittney Young, supervising chef at School Day Café’s central kitchen. “So, we definitely wanted to applaud them for the work they’ve done.”
Young added the nutrition workers have served more than 3 million meals to students in five school districts during the pandemic. “It’s definitely something to celebrate,” she said.
Breakfast and lunch meals have been served in a grab-and-go manner to students who were distance learning during the pandemic, and continue to be served as students return to in-person instruction.
Dressed up as a character from the Disney animated movie “The Incredibles,” School Day Café CEO Robert Lewis passed out lunch meals to employees, which included a Jersey Mike’s sandwich, a commemorative pen and a note thanking the employee for a continued commitment to serving meals to students.
“School nutrition employees must balance the many roles and follow numerous federal, state and local regulations to ensure safe and healthy meals are available in schools,” said Lewis. “School Lunch Hero Day provides the opportunity for the community to thank these hard-working heroes.”
School Lunch Hero Day has been recognized annually by School Day Café since 2013. Lewis said the workers deserve the recognition even more this year as the pandemic closed schools and employees at School Day Café continued to work in order to provide breakfast and lunch meals throughout the week for students as they moved to an online-learning model.
“At the beginning of (last) year, just like everybody else, the agency was struggling and we didn’t know how everything was going to play out,” Young said. “But the workers quickly adapted to what was thrown at them, so being able to have the funds to be able to provide a meal for them is great. I’m so happy we were able to do this.”